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Analytic philosophy

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Quine's qualitative sphere
Quine's qualitative sphere

Analytic philosophy (whiles analytical philosophy) is a style o philosophy that acame dominant in Inglis-speakin kintras during the 20t century. In the Unitit Kinrick, Unitit States, Canadae, Australie, New Zealand an Scandinavie, the great majority o varsity filosofie depairtments identify themsels as "analytic" depairtments.[1]

The term "analytic philosophy" can refer tae:

  • A filosofical practice[2][3] characterised bi an emphasis on argumentative clarity an preceesion (eften achieved bi means o formal logic an analysis o leid) an a tendency tae uise, or refer tae, mathematics an the naitural sciences.[4][5][6]
  • The mair specific set o developments o early 20t-century filosofie that war the heestorical antecedents o the current practice: e.g., the wirk o Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. E. Moore, Gottlob Frege, an logical positivists. In this mair specific sense, analytic filosofie is identified wi speceefic filosofical traits (mony o which are rejectit bi mony contemporary analytic filosofers), sic as:
    • The logical-positivist principle that thare are nae ony speceefically filosofical facts an that the object o filosofie is the logical clarification o thochts. This mey be contrastit wi the tradeetional foondationalism, which considers filosofie tae be a special science (i.e. the discipline o knawledge) that investigates the fundamental raisons an principles o everything.[7] Consequently, mony analytic filosofers hae considert thair inquiries as continuous wi, or subordinate tae, those o the naitural sciences. This is an attitude that begins wi John Locke, wha describit his wirk as that o an "unnerlabourer" tae the achievements o naitural scientists sic as Newton. Durin the twentiet century, the maist influential advocate o the continuity o filosofie wi science wis Willard Van Orman Quine.[8]
    • The principle that the logical clarification o thouchts can be achieved anly bi analysis o the logical form o filosofical proposeetions.[9] The logical form o a proposeetion is a wey o representin it (eften uising the formal grammar an seembolism o a logical seestem), tae reduce it tae simpler components if necessar, an tae display its seemilarity wi aw ither proposeetions o the same teep. Houever, analytic filosofers disagree widely aboot the correct logical form o ordinar leid.[10]
    • The neglect o generalised filosofical seestems in favour o mair restrictit inquiries statit rigorously,[11] or ordinary leid.[12]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "Without exception, the best philosophy departments in the United States are dominated by analytic philosophy, and among the leading philosophers in the United States, all but a tiny handful would be classified as analytic philosophers. Practitioners of types of philosophizing that are not in the analytic tradition—- such as phenomenology, classical pragmatism, existentialism, or Marxism—- feel it necessary to define their position in relation to analytic philosophy." John Searle (2003) Contemporary Philosophy in the United States in N. Bunnin and E.P. Tsui-James (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 2nd ed., (Blackwell, 2003), p. 1.
  2. See, e.g., Avrum Stroll, Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2000), p. 5: "[I]t is difficult to give a precise definition of 'analytic philosophy' since it is not so much a specific doctrine as a loose concatenation of approaches to problems." Also, see Stroll (2000), p. 7: "I think Sluga is right in saying 'it may be hopeless to try to determine the essence of analytic philosophy.' Nearly every proposed definition has been challenged by some scholar. [...] [W]e are dealing with a family resemblance concept."
  3. See Hans-Johann Glock, What Is Analytic Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 205: "The answer to the title question, then, is that analytic philosophy is a tradition held together both by ties of mutual influence and by family resemblances."
  4. Brian Leiter (2006) webpage "Analytic" and "Continental" Philosophy Archived 2006-11-15 at the Wayback Machine. Quote on the definition: "'Analytic' philosophy today names a style of doing philosophy, not a philosophical program or a set of substantive views. Analytic philosophers, crudely speaking, aim for argumentative clarity and precision; draw freely on the tools of logic; and often identify, professionally and intellectually, more closely with the sciences and mathematics, than with the humanities."
  5. Glock, H. J. (2004). "Was Wittgenstein an Analytic Philosopher?". Metaphilosophy. 35 (4): 419–444. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9973.2004.00329.x.
  6. Colin McGinn, The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey through Twentieth-Century Philosophy (HarperCollins, 2002), p. xi.: "analytical philosophy [is] too narrow a label, since [it] is not generally a matter of taking a word or concept and analyzing it (whatever exactly thatthat might be). [...] This tradition emphasizes clarity, rigor, argument, theory, truth. It is not a tradition that aims primarily for inspiration or consolation or ideology. Nor is it particularly concerned with 'philosophy of life,' though parts of it are. This kind of philosophy is more like science than religion, more like mathematics than poetry – though it is neither science nor mathematics."
  7. See Aristotle Metaphysics (Book II 993a), Kenny (1973) p. 230.
  8. See, e.g., Quine's papers "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" and "Epistemology Naturalized".
  9. A.P. Martinich, "Introduction," in Martinich & D. Sosa (eds.), A Companion to Analytic Philosophy (Blackwell, 2001), p. 1: "To use a general name for the kind of analytic philosophy practiced during the first half of the twentieth century, [...] 'conceptual analysis' aims at breaking down complex concepts into their simpler components."
  10. Wittgenstein, op. cit., 4.111
  11. Scott Soames, Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century Vol. 1 (Princeton UP, 2003), p. xv: "There is, I think, a widespread presumption within the tradition that it is often possible to make philosophical progress by intensively investigating a small, circumscribed range of philosophical issues while holding broader, systematic questions in abeyance. What distinguishes twentieth-century analytical philosophy from at least some philosophy in other traditions, or at other times, is not a categorical rejection of philosophical systems, but rather the acceptance of a wealth of smaller, more thorough and more rigorous, investigations that need not be tied to any overarching philosophical view." See also, e.g., "Philosophical Analysis" (catalogued under "Analysis, Philosophical") in Encyclopedia of Philosophy , Vol. 1 (Macmillan, 1967), esp. sections on "Bertrand Russell" at p. 97ff, "G.E. Moore" at p. 100ff, and "Logical Positivism" at p. 102ff.
  12. See, e.g., the wirks o G.E. Moore an J.L. Austin.